Chiang Mai Thailand

The favourite places of Calum Evans

The Gay Passport helps gay travellers make the most of their holiday by showcasing the best gay-friendly hotels, the coolest bars, the hottest clubs and the most Instagrammable beaches. Mr Hudson speaks to Calum Evans, founder, about his vision for the brand, his love for Thailand, and some of his favourite places.

 

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Tell us about yourself

I’m from Scotland and always worked in marketing and hospitality. Starting out in luxury hotels in Scotland before some internships in Dubai and Beijing. After uni, my first real job was in Bangkok for a hotel management company. Bangkok and Thailand was an amazing place to be based. These days I spend half my time at home in Scotland and the other half travelling. I love the balance of city life and countryside breaks.

Calum Evans The Gay Passport

Calum Evans

Tuk Nurnsakate

What is The Gay Passport about?

The Gay Passport is a travel guide for gay men. We feature local writers and content creators visiting amazing destinations and luxury hotels, creating unique content.

Actually, in everything that we want to do, we want to be up-to-date, honest, practical, but also entertaining. Making sure it’s useful, but also entertaining is where the challenge comes in. But that’s what we try to do.

Renaissance Phuket | Photo: The Gay Passport

“Over the years, we are building up more original content and started to collaborate with more content creators”

How did you come up with the idea for The Gay Passport?

Living and travelling for a long time in Asia and Australia, I read a lot of gay travel advice while visiting new destinations and looking for places to go out. I didn’t quite connect with them with many of the websites. I found them dated and not written for our audience—for me. That was when I wondered if I could do something updated and fresh.

How has your content evolved over the years?

Over the years, we are building up more original content and started to collaborate with more content creators. Having travellers visiting hotels and destinations to take their own photos to show what they are like; how big the rooms are, what’s the breakfast spread like, is the beach really as good as the online photos.

Sri Lanka | Photo: The Gay Passport

The NAKA Island Resort | Photo: The Gay Passport

Is there still a need for LGBTQ travel content?

Absolutely, going anywhere new is exciting, but by its nature, it’s also unknown. Many LGBTQ+ travellers want to know if they are going to be able to relax on holiday without having to hide their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Even when visiting a tolerant and accepting destination for the first time, you want to make sure that you’re staying in the right part of town. Whatever you’re into, you want to make the most of it, whether that’s seeing the tourist sights, shopping, trying the food, local gay nightlife or all of the above. Nobody wants to spend unnecessary hours in taxis when on holiday.

W Las Vegas | Photo: The Gay Passport

“Real photos from the guests on Instagram is ideal for checking out a hotel or restaurant”

What is next for The Gay Passport?

Last year we launched the content for a lot of European capitals. We are now building out more advice for these destinations and also looking into the first North American destinations. This is an interesting move because we’ve previously focused on Asia. It’s interesting to see how it goes and how we balance across social media.

What is your perspective on Instagram and other popular social media platforms in relation to travel?

I think Instagram is a great tool for travellers, I search locations a lot when travelling. Real photos from the guests on Instagram is ideal for checking out a hotel or restaurant. Also from an inspirational point of view, it’s great to see where your friends have been. I have definitely visited a few new destinations after seeing friends’ photos and how much fun they had.

The LaLit, London | Photo: The Gay Passport

Silavadee Koh Samui | Photo: The Gay Passport

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“Koh Samet is so underrated check it if you are in Thailand over one of the public holiday weekends”

You spend part of the year in Thailand - what are some of your favourite places?

Thailand is incredible and pretty diverse, for a first-time visitor, you want to see the different sides. I would suggest spending a few days in Bangkok to see one of the most dynamic capital cities in South East Asia. Followed by one of the beach destinations (Phuket, Samui or even Koh Samet) and a few days in the North of Thailand for their incredible mountains and jungles.

Any recommendations for gay travellers?

Koh Samet is so underrated check it if you are in Thailand over one of the public holiday weekends. The island goes from a quiet island to a party gay beach when half the Bangkok local gays head out the city for the long holiday weekends.

Sheraton Waikiki Hawaii | Photo: The Gay Passport

Hotel Indigo Bangkok | Photo: The Gay Passport

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